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Social media shows strong growth in state and local contracting


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State and local governments are using social media solutions for IT in virtually every area of government, according to a new report from Deltek.
The new report, Social Media in State & Local Government, a New Paradigm for Engagement and Innovation 2012, also suggests state and local governments will likely need help from contractors to do more, particularly in a handful of functions.
Analyzing opportunities from 2008 through 2012, Deltek shows particularly heavy social media use in higher education, general government, economic development, transportation, social services, and health care. Comparing state and local government solicitations from the third quarters of 2009 through the third quarter of 2012, Deltek analysts found strong growth and projected increased government solicitations through 2013.
For example:
·         In Health Care IT, government is looking to use social media to connect customers with service providers, and get feedback that will help improve customer service.
·         In Emergency Communications, governments are starting to integrate both third party platforms and their own emergency and disaster response software into systems that allow multi-directional emergency communication, including crowdsourcing disaster data. First responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy benefited from these systems in some areas.
·         In Educational Technology, schools are using social media to encourage engagement and manage class content. Higher education is building social media into student information systems, driving content and information among all members of the university communities.
·         Agency Human Resources professionals are turning increasingly to social media for both hiring and internal employee communications.
·         Transportation IT systems are using mobile applications to help citizens navigate public transit more easily.
Agencies have even turned toward social media for internal processes, managing service tickets for IT needs and facilities repairs, taking advantage of the anytime/anywhere collaboration of social media to streamline the work environment.

Governments are looking for help with using tried and true social media solutions, third party platforms, and integrating social media into their websites.

They are also looking to pay developers for purpose-built mobile apps with social media components that help government directly engage with citizens, deliver services, and gather data wherever citizens use government services, through their smart mobile devices.

In the short term, there will be opportunities to integrate social media into existing government enterprise applications. In particular, these will include health care IT, emergency communications, customer relations management educational technology, GIS/location-based, human resources, student information systems, and transportation IT.

In the long run, companies that can integrate mobile technologies into every IT solution will win contracts over those who can't.

Terms like "smart cities" and "smart government" win headlines for government officials – and sometimes win elections. Actually developing them, however will fall to industry. Companies that can deliver mobile apps that deliver improved services to citizens and gather data from them, and assist government in analyzing the big data that results from smart government efforts, will find a growing market in state and local government for years to come
This article was originally published on AOL Government.
Follow me on Twitter @GovWinCCotner.

Oregon and California get “Covered”

Branding and marketing for upcoming health insurance exchanges (HIXs) will be a huge focus for many states as they inch closer to launching their insurance portals. Oregon and California, two states that have taken great strides in implementing these systems, have already created the name for their hub, and are one step closer to bringing all the pieces of the HIX initiative together.
 
Cover Oregon, the name of Oregon’s upcoming health insurance exchange, built by Oracle, will be a central marketplace where Oregonians can shop for health plans and access financial assistance to help pay for coverage. The state is working to put the final pieces in place, which include setting standards for health insurance plans, and designing a website to make comparing plans and enrollment a breeze. The state is confident that it will be able to begin enrolling individuals and employers by the October 2013 deadline.
 
Similarly, Covered California is the name of California’s health insurance exchange portal. The state, which anticipates about two million people purchasing insurance through premium subsidies of the exchange, faces a unique challenge: The state also expects to enroll three million residents under Medi-Cal, the state’s Medical Assistance Program. California contracted with Accenture in May 2012 for development of the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention System (CalHEERS). The system is expected to provide an open, fair and accurate process that maximizes competition.
 
Stay tuned for the release of Deltek’s new HIX Vertical Profile Application (VPA) product. This new, expanded coverage will provide detailed information of all 50 states’ progress in implementing Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements. The launch of the HIX VPA product is expected to go live the first week in December!

 

Police Pinterest piqued

Deltek has covered the use of social media by state and local governments extensively, including a three-part blog series this past summer, a June report on social media, and many others. It is clear that Facebook and Twitter dominate the social media conversation when it comes to state and local governments; however, during Hurricane Sandy, the public safety social media spectrum shifted with increased use of Instagram to share pictures of the storm. Now, we are seeing another shift – this time, to Pinterest.
 
For those unfamiliar with Pinterest, the site describes itself as a way to “organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the Web.” It enables individuals to share discoveries with others by allowing everyone to connect “through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” You are probably wondering how state and local governments utilize this social media tool. The Philadelphia Police Department has an answer.
 
The Philadelphia Police Department has decided to take to Pinterest in an effort to post pictures of criminals at large. ThePhilly Pinterest page is divided into various divisions and provides mug shots and other pictures that citizens can view to help solve open cases. The department is definitely the first agency to try this tactic, but with 100 previous successful arrests using other social media platforms, there seems to be nothing to lose.
 
The city of Philadelphia isn’t just coming up with these ideas on a whim. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter opted to follow in the footsteps of Boston and establish an Office of New Urban Mechanics. The office will pilot and develop in-house applications, develop uses for social media and transform government to better the city. The idea is to create a more open government that allows inclusion from outside sources. Software and app developers can submit ideas that could be developed into tools to further help fight crime.
 
Analyst’s Take
 
There’s no denying public safety agencies’ creativity when it comes to utilizing social media. Though using Pinterest may come off as a bit odd, if any of the outstanding suspected criminals are brought to justice, it could be seen as a model to emulate in other cities. Social media, though used extensively across state and local governments, still has not become a standard. Innovative uses like that in Philadelphia will showcase how much good social media can do for state and local governments. 

Vendor landscape in relation to JPS contracts won

Vendors looking for business opportunities in the justice/public safety (JPS) market are more likely to turn their heads toward California and Texas. According to Deltek’s database, a majority of JPS contracts awarded over the last three years have taken place in these states.  Vendors seem to have picked up on this trend, as California and Texas are also home to many JPS vendors’ headquarters.
 
Deltek compiled a list of vendors who sell a multitude of JPS technologies, including radio communications, 911, surveillance and analytics. Most vendors who sell these technologies are primarily located in California, Texas, Florida, Virginia and New York, as shown below.
 
 
Over the last three years, the greatest numbers of awarded JPS contracts have come out of California, Texas, Washington state, Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia and New York. This is most likely due to the fact that these states have larger budgets and greater populations. Many of the darker-shaded states are home to some of the most populated cities in the United States. In addition, major cities within California, Texas, New York, and Massachusetts were among the top recipients of UASI grants in both FY 10 and FY 11, including New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Boston. Allocations for 2012 show that cities in New York, California and Florida will be among top recipients.
 
There is also strong correlation between where JPS contracts are being won and where the majority of vendors’ headquarters are located. This is likely due to vendors seeing greater business opportunities in these areas, and catering the majority of their marketing to these states.
 
 
The map shown below better depicts the correlation between vendor locations to contracts awarded in each state over the last three years. The vendor-to-contract ratio is pretty close, as shown by the darker states having the greatest number of both awarded contracts and vendors.
 
 
 
Analyst’s Take
 
Most vendors are focused on larger states such as Texas and California. Vendor location is highly important for business since vendors find greater benefit in locating where they can lobby for more contracts. Vendors looking to expand business, whether through relocation or setting up an additional office, may consider doing so in states that sign the most contracts.
 
Larger companies may have shied away from setting up headquarters within some of the centrally located states, not because they can’t win business, but because some of these states house small cities and counties that have an allegiance to home-based companies. The JPS market is traditionally more localized; therefore, smaller companies, though less likely to win a plethora of contracts, are more likely to win business with localized cities and counties. This also holds true nationwide. Many smaller governments like to localize their purchases, which in turn stimulates the economy and creates a ripple effect of generating more local business and creating more jobs.
 
Still, with most massive statewide initiatives such as radio communications, there is less of a trend toward vendor location, as states tend to consider top technology providers regardless of where they are located.

 

Maine scraps $32 million contract

The state of Maine has decided to scrap a $32 million contract to upgrade the statewide emergency 9-1-1 system to next generation 9-1-1. The awarded contract to FairPoint Communications was overturned due to improper scoring requirements following an award protest from two bidders, Oxford Networks and Intrado.
 
The state’s current 9-1-1 environment, provided by FairPoint, can only administer a limited number of data to customer praise equipment (CPE) installed within each public safety answering point (PSAP). Customer name and home address associated with a wireless number are not delivered with a wireless call. The state is looking to upgrade to an Internet-based, secure IP network infrastructure that can receive emergency notifications from different feeds in real time, including text messages from mobile devices as well as other notification services. The state had an initial deadline of August 2013, but may have to go to the drawing board again.
 
Maine has not made a formalized decision on whether a new request for proposals (RFP) will be issued. Due to the state’s pressing need to implement NG911, it is likely that a rebid will take place in the near future.
 
Analyst’s Take
 
Challenges to multimillion dollar procurements occur more frequently than one would assume. It is important for agencies to promote procurement practices that ensure a fair and open bidding process. Agencies should take the extra time to develop clear and concise requirements to avoid having to redo solicitations in entirety; they should also provide adequate deadlines that can be met by bidding participants. This is especially true for major statewide projects that have a specified deadline. Rehashing the entire procurement process costs states and localities a significant amount of time and money that could be used for drafting and implementing other needed projects. Maine’s proposed NG9-1-1 project has taken more than15 months, and still no contract award has been finalized.
 
Lastly, vendors should always familiarize themselves with protest rules and regulations in case bidding procedures are challenged, as well as learn how to appeal an award protest.

 

Vermont releases integrated eligibility system RFP

The Vermont Agency of Human Services (AHS) released a request for proposals (RFP) today for its new integrated eligibility system (IES), one part of Vermont’s Health Information Technology Plan (VHITP) aimed at modernizing the state’s health technology and business processes. AHS submitted an Implementation Advanced Planning Document (IAPD) in April, calling the document the “first of its kind,” as it serves as an umbrella Advanced Planning Document that covers the common IT shared services and tools, including the health benefit exchange, eligibility and enrollment systems, financial management systems, public health information, health data, health surveillance technologies, and Medicaid enterprise solution architecture.

 

Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA) standards are a big part of the project, as the state requested enhanced federal funding to retool its health enterprise. Vermont plans to utilize service-oriented architecture (SOA) as much as possible, and is looking to implement an enterprise master person index (EMPI) to “clean” patient records down to a single, holistic view of a person/family and its needs.

 

The state estimates the total value of all projects to near $375 million, with the new Medicaid system costing $125 million, the eligibility and enrollment system costing $22 million, and the HIX totaling $20 million. Deltek has long written about the need for states to break down their IT silos, but as Vermont pointed out, this may be the first instance that a state has broken down its APD silos. This project rewires the network of Vermont’s health systems and gets as close to real-time information management as possible. This project will require immense coordination and communication, as it runs the gamut of departments (both state and federal) and programs. It will be interesting to see if other states adopt this new APD method when attempting to create true health and human services delivery systems.

 

 

American Education Week: K-12 IT market overview, 2012

Vendors considering moving into the K-12 IT market should know that this market has its own needs, demands, budget cycles, and procurement approach, all separate from the general state and local market. With 13,600 K-12 school districts in the U.S., including private and charter schools, there is no shortage of customers. K-12 public schools spend, on average, $580 billion a year, $70 billion of which is spent on non-instruction expenditures. The task at hand is finding your footing in the market and finding customers who are seeking your services and/or goods. Before that step, vendors should learn the terrain to determine if demand for their goods and/or services is congruent in the K-12 market, and worth the venture now or in the future.

 

 
Market drivers 
 

The Obama administration has placed strong emphasis on incentivizing education reform to raise student and teacher performance, with the hopes to meet future workforce needs of a globalized U.S. economy. Federal funding such as Race to the Top and statewide longitudinal data system grants help fuel many states’ focus on education performance initiatives. Due in part to increased federal funding, many governors’ priorities have piggybacked on federal initiatives to improve classroom performance.

Another driver stems from the apparent collapse of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), as states are being allowed to pursue a wide range of uncoordinated reform strategies. Still, in the wake of NCLB, nationally accepted and verifiable criteria of best practices and cost-savings models are still a long way off. State-level response has come in the form of the National Governors’ Association Common Core State Standards, which is a set of curriculum standards to ensure college and career-ready students. This is currently the closest thing to a nationwide education standard. 

Nationwide school enrollment is at 54 million, and student population is expected to increase by nearly three million more students by 2019 (CAGR: 0.7 percent). More than half of that total (1.7 million) will come during the next five years. Spending in public schools continues to increase year over year, and is averaging around $12,700 per pupil. The need for public school teachers is also expected to rise. With roughly three million classroom teachers today, approximately 225,000 more teachers will be in classrooms within five years (CAGR: 1.4 percent).

Landscape

Contracted goods and services in the K-12 market are expected to enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.9 percent over the next five years, down from 3.1 percent in the 2010-2015 forecast period. This decrease is due primarily to the fact that by the end of 2010, most IT projects funded by federal stimulus dollars had worked their way through the system.

Lifecycle PC consumption is a continual concern for many school districts. In the average school district, most PCs are more than five years old, with many being closer to 10 years old. Unfortunately, few districts can afford to adhere to a five-year PC lifecycle turnover, even in the best of times. Procuring maintenance and support services to keep computer equipment operational is the next best thing. Most school districts participate in statewide or regional cooperative contracts to satisfy general IT maintenance needs.

Emerging classroom and administrative technologies are naturally seeing an increase in demand, while much of market capacity remains primed for growth. The low market capacity for classroom technologies, ranging from 4 to 16 percent, has more to do with specific technology availability and usage rates during classroom instruction. As demand increases, so will opportunities for interactive whiteboards, classroom response systems, handheld/mobile devices, computer/Web-based assessments software and classroom learning software. Because many of these mentioned technologies are viewed as “extras” rather than essentials to increasing student performance, there is a lot of head room for potential demand in the long term. Once K-12 budgets get back on track, more funds will free up for these emerging classroom technologies.

The market capacity for administrative technologies is relatively open, with an average range of 65 to 75 percent still available. This is where federal and state policies, mandates, and grants really drive the growth of technologies, including student information systems, business intelligence/analytics solutions, assessment management systems, and special education management systems. These technologies are quickly becoming the go-to tools for increased efficiency and performance on both the state and local K-12 education levels.

For the full report on the Primary/Secondary Education IT Market, 2011-2015, please go here.

 
Remember to stay connected to Deltek’s General Government Services team via Twitter @GovWin_GenGov for more updates on trends, analysis and opportunities in the public education IT market.
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This Week in Deltek's American Education Week Blog Series:

Surveillance: vendor trends

Earlier this month, Deltek blogged and produced a video about surveillance technologies and their use in crime prevention. The term “surveillance” covers numerous technologies, from red-light and speed cameras, to closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems. Due to the wide range of technologies under the surveillance umbrella, an abundance of vendors are participating in this market. The map below provides a visual representation of where these vendors are located.

 

The list of vendors used to create this map was taken from the Ultimate Guide for Sherriff’s on http://ultimateguideforsheriffs.com/

Expectedly, larger states such as California, Texas and Florida have the greatest number of vendors. Virginia is also near the top, likely due to the state’s large defense community. This map aligns well with the red map below, which details the number of solicitations released for surveillance technologies in the last 12 months. California, Texas and Florida continue to lead the pack, showing that larger states, and states with several surveillance vendors, continue to invest in the technology.

While a major portion of this could be due to the significant need for surveillance in border states, there are other important factors to consider. One of the most noteworthy is the fact that many solicitations include a provision that allows agencies to provide additional bid-scoring points in favor of locally owned businesses. This means that vendors located within the state have an advantage over out-of-state vendors.

Analyst’s Take

The extreme correlation between the location of surveillance vendors and where solicitations were released offers vendors a strong indication of where solicitations are likely to be released in the future. The maps detailing released and awarded solicitations show that many surveillance projects are taking place in border states, which is likely to continue. States that recently implemented systems may also require maintenance in the near future, which vendors should keep in mind as the systems begin to age.

Most significantly, however, may be the states that did not procure any surveillance technologies in the last three years, such as Wyoming and South Dakota. Given the growing trend in utilizing surveillance technology, it is likely that cities in these states will soon look to utilize it as well. Vendors should take advantage of this prime opportunity to introduce themselves and make a push for their systems now.

American Education Week: Race to the Top District grant a new local level market driver

The successful federal Race to the Top (RTTT)  grant, established as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), has created a new $400 million grant competition targeting local education agencies (LEAs), called Race to the Top District (RTT-D). RTT-D, much like its state-centric counterpart, is intended to push education reform and innovation; only this time, it is targeting classroom learning. This new market driver is expected to influence growth in the procurement and development of education data systems. Applying LEAs that hope to win RTT-D funds will have to meet the stated requirements surrounding education data systems identified in the grant’s request for applications (RFA), such as:
 
At a minimum, use a robust data system that:
  • Uses an individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match
  • Has the capability to provide timely data back to educators and their supervisors on student growth
 
Additionally, the LEAs should have the capability to:
  • Allow parents and students to export their information in an open data format
  • Demonstrate the ability to measure student progress and performance against college- and career-ready graduation requirements
  • Ensure student education records comply with FERPA 
  • Receive and/or match student data from preschool through 12th grade and higher education
 
Lastly, LEAs are required to:
  • Implement a teacher, principal, and superintendent evaluation system by no later than the 2014-2015 school year

 

 
The U.S. Education Department (USED) has received intent-to-apply notices from 892 LEAs representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Priority will be given to LEAs in states already awarded RTTT funds. In December 2012, the USED is expected to announce only 15-25 awards, spanning four years and ranging from $5 million to $40 million, based on the size of the LEA’s student population. In order to be eligible, LEAs must also:
 
  • Have at least 2,000 students, with 40 percent or more who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches
  • Apply the funds toward learning strategies that personalize education in all or a set of schools, within specific grade levels, or select subjects
  • Must obtain a signoff of support from the district superintendent or CEO, local school board president, and local teacher union or association president (where applicable)
 
Analyst’s Take
 
The future of the RTT-D grant competition depends on the success of this first installment. However, much like how the RTTT fueled major education innovations at the state level, RTT-D is expected to do the same at the local level. Over the next four years, applicant LEAs, whether they are awarded or not, will strive to make the investment in required and recommended education data systems just to vie for the extra federal funds. Like a lottery jackpot, most of the 892 applicant LEAs will not win this or any future RTT-D grant funds they apply for, but the possibility is enough to make the comparatively small risk of investing in systems, solutions, and services that could get them closer. The USED is using RTT-D like the proverbial rabbit in a greyhound race – not all will win, but they will run!
 
Based on the RTT-D requirements listed above, specific types of RTT-D related opportunities are likely to become more prevalent, such as:
 
  • Teacher/administrator performance tracking IT systems
  • Analytic and reporting tools
  • Interoperable education data systems
  • Unique identifier systems/solutions
  • Integration services
  • Identification and access management solutions
 
Remember to stay connected to Deltek’s General Government Services team via Twitter @GovWin_GenGov for more updates on trends, analysis and opportunities in the public education IT market.
 
 
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This Week in Deltek's American Education Week Blog Series:

Wednesday, November 14th - American Education Week: State and local education data systems, 2012

American Education Week: State and local education data systems, 2012

Education data (ED) system is an umbrella term that relates to any IT system collecting, managing and/or analyzing education data. State and local entities use education data to set policies, budgets, human resource needs, and even curriculum decisions.
 
In the past, most of this data was trapped at the local level or within the state-level K-12 education system. Now, these once compartmentalized data sets are being pulled together with other data sets to improve classroom learning, build efficiency, and close the achievement gap. After nearly 10 years of aggressive federal grant funding fueling innovation for state-level education data systems, better known as statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS), most states have completed or are nearing completion of their SLDS for K-12 data. 
 
Vendors should know that, despite SLDS opportunities winding down, the need for related ED systems in the form of integration services, maintenance services and business intelligence/analytics have not dried up. If anything, these opportunities are likely to grow, especially at the local level with the introduction of new market drivers from federal and states governments.
 
Just this year, a total of 278 solicitations related to education data systems were identified in the GovWin IQ database:
 
  • Local School Districts - 85 solicitations
  • State Education Agencies - 59 solicitations
  • Public Higher Ed -134 solicitations

 
State education agencies (SEAs) have begun to look horizontally to local education agencies (LEAs) to start pushing more student and teacher data from the district level to be fed into new longitudinal data systems. SEAs have also begun to look vertically to see how they can link to other state agency data sets down the road.
 
 
State-level procurement predictions
 
On the state level, longitudinal data systems compile K-12 education data from the district level, tracking student performance over multiple years and across several agencies and institutions. Most SLDSs include or aspire to include data from both public higher education institutions and workforce/labor departments in the near future. In the long term, these systems will include data from other agencies such as Medicaid services, Child Protective Services, and the justice system.
 
State-level opportunities in the next phase of ED systems will be related to the linking of K-12 education data to higher education data and workforce/labor data, as well as other agency data sets. Because of these future linkages, the need for integration services and business intelligence/analytics solutions will be on the rise.
 

 

 
Local-level procurement predictions
 
On the local level, most schools use multiple IT systems to collect a variety of education data. These systems include student information systems (SIS), special education management systems, teacher/principal performance tracking systems, student assessment systems, and instructional/curriculum management systems. The issue now is that many LEAs are not collecting all the education data needed to be fed into their respective SLDS. In 2010, only 38 percent of LEAs were using teacher-performance tracking systems, and only 64 percent were using instructional/curriculum management systems.
 
In an effort to get LEAs up to speed, the federal government launched a new Race to the Top grant directed at LEAs to assist in the development, acquisition and/or procurement of more robust ED systems. In a complementary move, many states also passed legislation requiring LEAs to link and submit the needed education data up to the state SLDS. Out of necessity, LEAs will oblige and obtain these more robust, interoperable ED systems as well as any related integration services, BI/analytics and reporting solutions.
 

 

 
 
Analyst’s Take
 
Vendors new to the education data systems market might not have been able to compete with larger vendors on the state level, but they will likely get a second chance in the smaller LEA market. This is especially true for integration services and BI solutions vendors looking to expand into the K-12 education IT market.
 
 
For more on Education Data Systems, read the full report here (subscription required).
 
 
Also, remember to stay connected to Deltek’s General Government Services team via Twitter @GovWin_GenGov for more updates on trends, analysis and opportunities in the public education IT market.
 
 
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This Week in Deltek's American Education Week Blog Series:
 

 

 

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